Author Archives: CyberLogitec

Container Ports: 2 Ways To Fast Track Transformational Change

What shippers really want to know the timeliness of the vessel’s arrival, that the port will have allocated delivery trucks and cranes ready to service them at berth. They need the port to be flexible to manage their transhipment requirements, and re-organise  cargo in response to unanticipated circumstances. They also need ports to be proactive with solutions such as automated regulatory clearance for their cargo.

For container ports and terminals thinking digitalization for added capabilities and agility, here are two good kickstart moves:

  1. Set Your Standards Right

Before digitization can happen, there must be standardization. As Maritime Research and Advisory firm Drewry puts it, “Technology innovation can only work when you have standardization.” That means defining the specific requirements for each function and procedures for every process throughout the value chain. When companies begin to standardize your workflows and processes, you cut complexities and clear the way for ideas that can lead to new ways of doing business.

On a larger scale, standardization also gives ports the basis for information sharing, and facilitating trade and integration within the organization and throughout the value chain. In short, setting the right standards help companies connect and collaborate better, which is essentially the heart of digitization itself – people, machines and processes working seamlessly to drive business goals and benefits for safety, efficiency and the environment.

  1. Build Transformative Partnerships

One of the most important elements of success in this digital economy is a company’s ability to build partnerships for sustainable growth. “We’re seeing organizations in the port space—authorities, operators, service providers, third-party logistics companies, and forwarders—doing more and more to improve the end-to-end supply chain.” McKinsey & Company[1]
The digital economy is the sharing economy. Sharing information and sharing strengths to gain a bigger business advantage. Some shipping lines have already been doing it, where new models of cohesiveness are borne. In collaborative shipping, multiple shippers bundle cargos into one vessel on the same route. This results in higher fill rates, reduced transportation costs overall and, it’s simply a greener way to go.

“Global trade is growing, albeit slowly. More terminals are shifting to automated systems in the first steps to digitization,” says Mr Lee Youn-Kuen, Managing Director, CyberLogitec Global Pte Ltd. “True effectiveness entails a cohesive platform that can tightly integrate disparate equipment and systems at the terminal. Advanced solutions such as OPUS Terminal offers port operators a highly integrated TOS platform that provides visibility and coverage of the port. This facilitates pro-active decision making so that operations can work productively,” he adds.

On the port level, two main terminals in the port of Hong Kong[2] ‑ Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Trust and Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) – have consolidated their operations to form the Combined Terminals creating additional capacity, increasing flexibility in berth and yard planning. Terminal operators are also joining hands with major shipping lines. Singapore terminal operator PSA has seen throughput grow 9%[3] to reach 33.35m TEUs, a result attributed to PSA’s partnering with French ocean carrier CMA CGM.

New alliances can also be formed with knowledge experts outside the industry. In 2017, shipping giant Maersk and IBM unveiled the world’s first block chain digital solution for shipping. The ground-breaking platform caters to the multifarious needs of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities. It is poised to help users “manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners.[4]” IBM reckons, when adopted at scale, this vast digital ecosystem will help the industry save billions.

For container ports and terminals operating in today’s tumultuous shipping industry landscape, the customer is king. To attract shippers and lines, ports need to acquire new capabilities and agilities fast, to differentiate themselves from competition and to stay in the game.

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[1] Ports and Shipping: The Need for Solutions That Cross Lines, McKinsey & Company (May 2017); https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/travel-transport-and-logistics/our-insights/ports-and-shipping-the-need-for-solutions-that-cross-lines

[2] Source: Sea Trade Maritime News, 20 December 2016; HPH Trust, Cosco Shipping Ports tie up HK container terminal ops http://www.seatrade-maritime.com/news/asia/hph-trust-cosco-shipping-ports-tie-up-hk-container-terminal-ops.html

[3] Source: “PSA reaps rewards of partnerships with container lines at Singapore port” by Gavin van Marle, 17 January 2018; https://theloadstar.co.uk/psa-reaps-reward-partnerships-container-lines-singapore-port/

[4]Source: IBM Press Release, 5 May 2017; Maersk and IBM Unveil First Industry-Wide Cross-Border Supply Chain Solution on Block Chain, 5 May 2017; https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51712.wss;

The Balance of Globalisation and Collaboration

The Research & Markets’ “Global Ports and Terminal Operations Market 2017 – 2021” report states that ‘The ports and terminal operations market in APAC is expected to handle 477.42 million TEU by 2021.’ This is a forecast growth of 4% since 2016. Indeed, 14 of the top 20 busiest ports in the world are in China, one of the top manufacturers of electronic goods. China’s continued dominance in this field, coupled with the rise in foreign investments into emerging markets like Myanmar, Vietnam and India are key factors in the growth of the APAC region. It also has been forecast that terminals in Greater China could register the most substantial increase in average utilization levels, reaching a rate 96% by 2021.

This indicates that seaborne trade is still on an upward trajectory, albeit a slow one, and with the acceleration in globalization, the success of terminals will be tested as they strive to cope with the demand for increased utilisation rates.

Today, a massive amount of resources is wasted as a result of inefficient manual processes. In the process of cargo movement, information about its whereabouts is handled by various disparate software systems that are not always well-synchronised. This results in stakeholders being forced to make decisions while lacking crucial pieces of data, and visibility into the supply chain.

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On the bright side, however, with technology, there are ways to standardise data flow. Improved collaboration between terminal operators and carriers could allow all stakeholders to benefit from the information. Over the last 5 years or so, we have seen and heard of many digital programmes being applied in different companies. These early adopters are capable of changing and setting the standards. Standardisation is now a need and it must take place in order to bring about change and collaboration. Having a single platform allows inclusive collaboration such as slot swaps, co-partnerships and liner alliances, where a wide range of information can be shared and made visible to streamline business processes.

Trust is a required element for collaboration to take place. The ability to share information such as slot exchange forms part of data that needs to be shared in order to collaborate effectively. A well-automated terminal can deliver high performance throughout the day because these solutions can communicate efficiently between shipping lines and terminal operators.

Maritime transport is the backbone of globalisation and trade, so it is key that companies critically assess their current systems taking into consideration the level of accuracy and speed at which they operate, and adopt a robust, innovative technology strategy to deliver sustainable success. To stay ahead in the game now and in the future, improved transparency and visibility via a shared partner ecosystem and the adoption of innovative technologies is vital.

Driving New Frontiers 2.0

Smart Business Goals

Within the terminal supply chain, there are many stakeholders involved in delivering end-to-end service to customers. In the world of larger ports and bigger ships, a flexible and modular-based TOS architecture understands that multi-terminal and mix-cargo terminal operations have different complexities, which means there isn’t a one-size-fits-all system. Whether deployed on premise or on the cloud, with plenty of features useful to cater to the needs of the multi-terminal or mix-cargo requirements, the operating system becomes an important part of powering the daily operations of the terminal.

Operational processes are fast becoming more complex and it is challenging us to take a hard look at the status quo of the maritime supply chain. It is therefore time to harness technologies to effectively unlock greater performance for the port and better service delivery for end customers. Smart ports can therefore visualize a new era, restoring port productivity to the industry.

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Driving New Frontiers 1.0

The ocean container shipping industry is facing many issues, with weak demands and oversupply of slots. The truth is terminals can visualize a new era, restoring port productivity to the industry. To remain competitive, a good terminal operating system (TOS) should be optimized for the future as it grows with the business.

Smart planning

Under a single umbrella, a good TOS will be a well-connected platform with a single real-time visibility with solutions that come with clear 3D and 2D yard views to facilitate decision making. This gives rich graphical details within a single interface as terminal crew can quickly zoom in and out of the yard providing yard container information and vessel discharging activities thus elevating visibility.

Smart operations

To power a smart port into the future, having a global pooling system that is well-managed by an intelligent TOS eliminates the complexities of juggling the equipment manually. By managing its resources and equipment, it discharges its plan based on an intelligent algorithm that considers the Internal Terminal Vehicle (ITV) workload and the yard movement sequence in real time. By assigning the closest ITV to its targeted container, it maximizes operational efficiency as time and cost savings are key metrics for a productive port.

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Change Is Here To Stay

Change Is Here To Stay

The old paradigm of change was applying technology to automate simple processes and operations, but today’s wave of change has gone beyond that. It is now about leveraging on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data to collect intelligent data generated by multiple processes, and support change management at a higher level.

Big Data is an integral part of ALLEGRO’s yield management process as it maximizes profitability by validating pricing, capacity and cargo type each time a booking is created. This allows for real time revenue management and improved business decision making. The adoption of the right technology is about understanding that change is inevitable in order for businesses to remain relevant.

One of the key factors of change, is about realizing new innovation can power businesses to be productive.

Container Terminal in Hamburg

Having the Right Mindset

The truth is, no new technologies are without drawbacks. There is always a learning curve, and that unlearning of the old and relearning of new processes and systems. Understandably, legacy systems and old working habits are hard to let go, but to embrace new processes a flexible mentality must be adopted for organisations to stay relevant. Workers need to upgrade their skills and gain the confidence to thrive in such a competitive world. It is important not to succumb to fear but maintain an optimistic stance, keep up with the times and prepare for the inevitable disruption.

The maritime industry is not immune to the opportunity of technological advancements. In fact, companies should be leveraging on the downtime to take action now. Deep transformation is needed, starting with change management practices through to the adoption of new technological platforms to drive innovation and thrive, not just survive, in the global market of tomorrow.

Container Terminal in Hamburg

Is the Slow Adoption of Technology in the Maritime Industry Making Us Vulnerable?

Paper maps, charts and atlases have all but disappeared in the face of the advanced satellite-based navigation systems which have become a permanent fixture on our mobile phones. Using GPS to guide us from one point to another has become such a normal way of life for most consumers, that without it, they are lost – figuratively and literally! Technology has infiltrated and disrupted our lives to the point where we are left with no other option but to embrace it.

In spite of this widespread technological disruption into our personal lives, many maritime and logistics companies are still using pen and paper, and software tools developed 30 years ago to handle their planning. We see many struggle to keep up with the service demands of their customers. Yet many others have gone ahead to adopt technologies like CyberLogitec’s OPUS Container, now known as ALLEGRO, to unify their operations to improve data visibility.

ALLEGRO uses intelligent algorithms to generate sophisticated container activity plans in order to dynamically respond to yard operations. This goes go far beyond managing the basic physical movement of containers. To manage the massive volume of data created, and efficiently manage the process dependencies arising from the transportation of a container from point to point, we need advanced, smart software solutions.  

The question therefore, is not whether it is too late to adopt new technologies. With productivity as a key organizational benchmark, the topic at hand should be how companies can leverage on technologies to remain relevant and competitive in the everchanging market. Companies need to reevaluate the importance of technologies and how it can benefit their business.  
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Living Tomorrow’s Port Today

Achieving optimum productivity is always on the minds of senior management, and as the level of competition escalates, this becomes an increasing concern with larger ships and bigger ports raising the stakes. The concept of today’s smart ports is to help terminal operators and shipping lines maximise productivity and reduce turnaround times by investing in smarter, more connected IT infrastructure.

The challenge is to keep it in alignment with operational and revenue goals and vessel-at-berth productivity is an important indicator of terminal efficiency. Traditionally speaking, crane-moves-per-hour is the metric most closely tied to ship turnaround times. This metric reflects the carrier’s priorities in offloading its cargo in the shortest time. Clearly the point is for berthed vessels to optimise the planning and management of containers at the terminal to quickly offload and load their cargo so that they can get back to sea. So having a good terminal operating solution that can intelligently optimise operations and eliminate congestion from the berth to the gates is one of the keys to building tomorrow’s smart port.

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A smart terminal needs to find balance in managing resources and equipment and having a global pool system optimised and managed by an intelligent Terminal Operating System eliminates the complexities of juggling the equipment manually. Instead it intelligently discharges its plan based on an algorithm that considers the Internal Terminal Vehicle (ITV) workload, the yard movement sequence and the customer’s requirements all in real-time. It then assigns the closest ITV to its targeted container, and it activates the activity by dispatching the ITV according to the impending job requirements. This maximises efficiency levels as time and cost savings become key metrics for tomorrow’s port, as streamlining the movement of cargo is highly critical.

Terminal operators must devote the optimal level of cargo-handling equipment to each vessel call so that congestion does not emerge as a chokepoint. A good Terminal Operating System can be configured to respond to the dynamic yard situation in real-time with its advanced yard planning system. Such features manage container allocation in real-time, responding to critical paths and priorities on hand. Having a global pooling feature for the ITVs within the yard can intelligently allocate jobs based on priorities.  

The functions of an intelligent terminal operating system are developed based on the specific requirements of the terminal so that they can operate according to their needs. Intelligent vessel planning places containers efficiently around the yard. Controlled through user configurable patterns, priorities, and smart workflow design, an optimal vessel operation pattern is created.

Without these fundamental features, the operations will not be cohesive and efficient. For these reasons, terminal operators need to adopt a sound IT strategy to facilitate optimal terminal, crane and vessel operations and cater for fluctuations and exceptions. The idea of optimising port-stay is the key goal for every smart terminal so the adoption of an intelligent terminal solution can drive up productivity and reduce errors.

In Conversation with Mr Youn-Keun Lee, Managing Director, CyberLogitec Global Pte Ltd

CyberLogitec Global celebrates its first year of market presence in Singapore as CyberLogitec’s sales and marketing operation for the maritime, terminal and logistics industry. Singapore is the natural choice because it is internationally recognized as a leading maritime nation. Today, CyberLogitec Global operates independently from CyberLogitec group, focusing on increasing its global business presence, by fostering relationships with our international network of customers and partners.

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Mr YK Lee, Managing Director of CyberLogitec Global has more than 34 years of experience in the shipping industry. Starting out at Hanjin Shipping, he went on to implement and drive turnaround strategies to achieve organizational efficiencies for the company. In 2003, he was appointed the Managing Director of Hanjin Shipping, UK Branch in London and was recognised for his significant contribution. He was subsequently promoted to be Group Head, European trade marketing and customer relations in HQ, Seoul. Then in 2016, he stepped up to be the Executive Advisor to the Board of CyberLogitec before being appointed Managing Director. With his rich experience in the maritime industry, YK has built an extensive network of key-opinion leaders and high-ranking executives in the shipping and terminal space.

  1. What excites you about CyberLogitec Global and what has the company achieved since it first opened its doors?

Since its inception, CyberLogitec Global has achieved a few noteworthy milestones. The recent achievement that we are most proud of, is the selection of our ALLEGRO Integrated Liner Management Solution by NileDutch. ALLEGRO integrates key business processes spanning the entire container liner shipping operation, in real-time and anywhere in the world.

The Singapore team has expanded to 14 employees, working in three key areas: Sales, Marketing, and Business Consulting. In each business unit, our colleagues are armed with years of experience in the industry. And we are still growing!

We have been participating in global events and speaking opportunities, making our mark in our market. Through these events, we are establishing new networks and building new leads. We also recently came onboard as a member of the Singapore Shipping Association and we are excited about their lineup of activities that push the maritime industry forward.

 

  1. Having taken over the helm as Managing Director of CyberLogitec Global, what are your immediate priorities?

My first priority is to strengthen the leadership position of our company and our strong suite of products for the industry. As a market leader in the maritime and terminal industry, we are building new capabilities to remain relevant and competitive in the face of market challenges. Through synergies across our business units, we need to reinvent ourselves by looking at new capabilities and new business models to deliver the best solutions for the liner and terminal industry. At the same time, we are increasing our sales and marketing activities, establishing our online presence and taking advantage of networking opportunities.

Our people are our key assets and we are investing time to upskill and develop them so that they reach their full potential in their specialized fields. I firmly believe that a highly-skilled and empowered workforce will propel CyberLogitec towards better productivity and ultimately greater success for our clients.

 

  1. The industry is moving very rapidly, what are your long-term strategies to build a strong future for the company?

There was a time when shipping companies used a pen and paper to operate the terminals. Today, they heavily rely on IT solutions to drive their operational processes. They have to be faster and better than their competitors in order to stay ahead of the game. At CyberLogitec, we understand the challenges of our customers. We are committed to help them be operationally efficient and save time and money. 

Our key strengths are in our strong competencies in IT execution and business consultancy. With a diversified business group, we see it as an opportunity to entrench our leadership position and deliver our solutions well. We have to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the competition, providing added value as part of our core business deliverables.

As our territories and sales expertise grow, so will our product line-up expand to reach out to the logistics industry as well. We continue to broaden our product range and add new and well-designed capabilities beyond our flagship products to meet the needs of the ever-changing market.

 

  1. CyberLogitec Global is made up of an international team, coming from all around the globe. How do you create a company culture that can embrace the different international and cultural variances?

I believe that innovation and open dialogues are important in the success of every organization. I always encourage my team to be creative in trying new things and be willing to execute them with proper planning. More heads are always better than one. Between my team and I, we have vast experience and extensive business networks. As we tap each other’s strengths to collaborate, we can push forward to achieve greater results.

One of the keys to avoid misunderstandings is to communicate frequently. Through our sharing and as we rub shoulders with one another, I believe we can build a stronger team and bridge any cultural gaps over time.

I have also facilitated opportunities for open dialogues in our Friday casual get-together. We use the time to catch up on what we have on our plates and our team contributes with ideas to tackle the situation. If they face roadblocks in their projects, my door is always open for them to sit down and have a chat and we strategise on how to re-approach the challenge with fresh eyes.

 

  1. You have made Singapore home since you arrived. What do you love about Singapore? Singapore is also known as a food paradise, so what would be your favourite food?

It has been about 4 months since I started living in Singapore. I must say I enjoy discovering new places and sights that Singapore has to offer. When my wife first stepped foot into Singapore, she was impressed at how Singapore truly is a ‘garden city’, because it is clean and beautiful. This country really lives up to its name.

In the course of my interaction with the local statutory boards for the maritime and shipping industry in Singapore, I’ve grown to respect the heartbeat of the organization because of their commitment and dedication to build a strong maritime and shipping hub for this country.

I also truly believe that the best places to find good food is where the locals frequent. I enjoy going to the hawker centres because they are the most authentic places you can find local food. I get a wide selection of food to savour. In particular, I enjoy bak kut teh, and I never say no to good seafood and dim sums!

3 Ways To Shore Up Your Maritime Performance

Maritime transport is the backbone of globalisation and trade. In recent years, international seaborne trade has seen substantial growth even as it battles to increase utilisation rates, cope with the introduction of “mega-ships” and accommodate customer demands for increased visibility and velocity in the supply chain.

Having a well-supported technological solution that supports all business needs means you can focus on your core business and avoid diverting human and financial capital from delivering value to your customers. Here are 3 ways to shore up your maritime performance to remain competitive.

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Build Business Intelligence

With the massive amount of information that is being processed daily, accurate information in real-time is critical so that organizations can use this information to make the right business decisions for accurate resource allocation and business planning.

Maritime shipping companies can leverage Big Data through a cutting-edge system to conduct multi-dimensional analysis and simulations for optimum performance. A robust system should unlock dynamic pricing options and contract portfolio optimization so that operators can enjoy significant revenue enhancements, while at the same time minimizing costs burdens through features such as advanced cost modelling and empty repositioning.

Harnessing inbuilt business intelligence tools to optimize decision making can lead to a huge pay-off for a smart shipping company as it gives the key stakeholders insights into business performance. This also helps manage trading and operational risks in a single platform which reduces unnecessary costs and minimize wasted time.

 

Build Commercial Intelligence

Shipping companies are always looking to optimize container load factors on vessels without compromising on revenue opportunities. Having an advanced service network management solution means that every piece of information is logged for greater efficiency and full transparency for the key stakeholders of the shipping company. Time is money and shipping companies can now have greater control over their costs, route and cargo selection, and improved visibility of revenue and yields.

Intelligent algorithms coupled with improved visibility over every process throughout the maritime supply chain can contribute to the organisation’s commercial objectives, from vessel scheduling to  constraint and exception management. This results in a collaborative experience for key stakeholders, as they strive to achieve operational performance and commercial accuracy.

 

Build Service Intelligence

Delivering a good customer service experience is one of the key ingredients to what keeps any business thriving. According to Forrester’s 2017 Customer Experience Index, the quality of customer experience has plateaued or declined in some industries, and these declines will contribute to a net loss.  Customers are also turning to solution providers that can confidently offer real value along the maritime supply chain. Therefore, an end to end solution that tracks expenditures such as terminal and port handling charges, vessel transportation, equipment handling fees, documentation and administration charges, reduces the incidence of erroneous manual data inputs.

At the end of the day, it is essential that the shipping company demonstrates its commitment to understanding customer’s needs.

Indeed, digital transformation is a critical requirement for smart maritime shipping companies struggling to meet rising customer expectations and service quality expectations. Staying on top of the changing trends of the global market and leveraging the right solutions provider and technology is critical in establishing business and operational success.

 

2 Ways to Improve Liner Service Quality

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In a recent annual shipper satisfaction survey conducted by Drewry and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) for 400 shippers and forwarders, it was revealed that shipper’s satisfaction with documentation accuracy scored 3.4 out of 5, but the quality of the customer service received only 2.9. The survey also reveals that carrier performance has deteriorated in the last two years, particularly in four key areas, i.e,  range of available carriers, range of different available services, the price of service and the overall carrier service quality.

Shippers and forwarders are looking for service quality in relation to brand reputation and booking options. The idea of subpar documentation accuracy and an even poorer customer service indicates that delivery and performance within the industry hasn’t been up to mark.

To see an improvement in overall carrier service quality, organisational initiatives need to be in place to boost the service quality for the entire industry.

 1. Embrace Technology

To support documentation and track-ability within the liner industry, it is highly important to ensure the accuracy of data that flows through the entire supply chain – from shipper, to haulier, to carrier to terminal and vice versa. There needs to be transparency in the movement of goods and data through the entire maritime shipping chain. In today’s context, where a wide range of shipping options and massive processes are concerned, the only way forward is through the adoption of technology that supports the core business processes in a fully integrated manner.

Given the huge amount of information involved, robust internal processes are required to ensure quick turnaround time for shippers and forwarders.

 2. Embrace People

People are the backbone that supports the success of any organisation.  The empowerment and trust towards its employees makes a great difference in the level of motivation. Research shows that high employee job satisfaction gives rise to an intrinsic desire to perform well at work which in turn leads to a good service climate. By keeping people empowered, they too will become more productive.

To meet the demands of today’s customers, carrier performance has to up their game, and that involves fostering a holistic environment of people and technologies. The good news is that in the last few years the container shipping industry has starting picking up its game. We are on the cusp of exciting changes!